0 hours 20 mins
0 hours 50 mins
1 hours 50 mins
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2 Zucchini squash
1 Cup of Marinara Sauce
½ Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 Cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the zucchini.
3. Mix the ricotta, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup of the shredded mozzarella in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and grate the nutmeg on top of the mixture (about 1/8 teaspoon). (Yes, you can use already grated nutmeg in a jar but the fresh nutmeg is wonderful!) Add the beaten egg and chopped parsley and stir all together. Put to the side.
4. Cut off the two stem ends of each zucchini. Then slice 4-5 long slices out of each zucchini. Place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake them for 10-12 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and let cool.
5. Place a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto the end of a zucchini slice and carefully roll it up. Place seam side down in the pan with the marinara sauce that you prepared in step 2. Do this with all the slices. (I got nine slices from my zucchini and created 9 rolls. I used an 8 x 8 metal pan.)
6. Top the zucchini rolls with the remaining ½ cup of marinara sauce. Sprinkle with two tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and then top with the remaining ¼ cup of Mozzarella. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and the cheese is all melty! Enjoy this healthy and tasty take on lasagna rollups.
NOTE: This Zucchini Lasagne Roll Ups is a favorite among family and friends. It is easy to make and just a bit lighter and healthier than traditional lasagne. I have a couple of tips for you to help make this the best dish ever.
First, I use my own homemade Marinara Sauce but feel free to use your favorite jarred sauce. Fresh is best and when you are only using a couple of ingredients, you want to be sure they are the best quality you can afford. My Marinara Sauce is easy to make so be sure to check it out.
My second tip is the nutmeg in the filling. Years ago in New York, one of my Italian chef mentors (my boyfriend’s mom) taught me to add freshly ground nutmeg to all the cheese fillings she made for lasagne, manicotti and stuffed shells. I’ve been doing it ever since. In a pinch, I’ll use canned nutmeg but I always see her shaking a finger at me so I keep whole nutmeg in the kitchen cabinet!!!! LOL You should too! Just grate it on a rasp or fine handheld grater. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to taste it like you would in a cookie. It is very subtle and just gives it a little something extra.
When it comes to the cheeses, I used full flavor Parmesan and low fat Mozzarella and Ricotta. Feel free to use full fat products but I was trying to lighten this recipe up and chose the lighter products. Note that the flavor does not suffer and there is not “right” choice. Use what you prefer.
When it comes to the treatment of the zucchini, you want to gets strips that are about 1/8th an inch thick. You don’t want them so thin that they fall apart but you want them thin enough to be similar to the thickness of pasta. By cooking the zucchini first, you soften the vegetable and make the strips very flexible and easy to roll. You could also use yellow summer squash or a combination of both.
I like to serve this with extra Parmesan on the side. If you like this dish, be sure to try some of my other favorite lighter Italian dishes.